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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 27, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EST

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attention for 30 million jobs next week to the belly of the beast. we are launching auction 2012 in partnership with "the huffington post," united republic. thanks to beautiful miami beach. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in florida. i'm leading off tonight with trading places. if newt gingrich loses the republican nomination, we're going to look back at last night's debate as the reason why. romney was the adegreeser from the start. mitt floored newt with this one. >> mr. speaker, i know that sounds like an enormous
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revolution, but have you checked your own investments? you also have investments in fannie mae and freddie mac. >> right. >> have you checked own investments? newt had no answer. mitt's performance makes him the favorite to win florida next tuesday. for now, the favorite to win the nomination. but it wasn't all good news for romney. he seems to have trouble with telling the truth. basic stuff like when he said investments are held by a blind trust. not necessarily. or when he defended his vote for paul with this changing answer. mitt romney meets the truth squad. you have doubt? newt gingrich made this absurd claim about president obama last night. >> if you're for radicalism, you're with barack obama. >> saul alinsky radicalism.
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i'm talking about newt gingrich here. does he have a clue who he was? we have the file on alinsky tonight. guess who? mitt romney's own dad. and the more newt and mitt duke it out, the better it is frr president obama. he has a new spring in his step. one reason why is the fight we're all watching on the right. and newt gets an endorsement he can do without from prison from inside. that's in the side show. we begin with mitt romney's strong debate performance on kn c cnn. howard fine man is a political analyst. and susan page is the washington bureau chief. howard, let's look at the polls out today that show the race in florida turning strongly for romney. take a look. both the latest sunshine state poll have romney ahead by 9%.
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your sense of why newt is losing and mitt is winning? >> well, mitt romney came last night to do what he had to do. he was the new combat-ready mitt romney. and he gave newt gingrich's tactics right back at him. mitt romney was well prepared with attack lines and defense lines. he was in newt's space the whole time. it had the feel of a bully being confronted by a guy who was ready for it. but other things happened before that. newt gingrich saying he had sarah palin in his administration. scared the establishment types. marco rubio attacking newt gingrich for an ad he had on. newt gingrich talking about colonizing the moon and romney had a great line ready for that saying if anybody in his administration had come to him with an idea like that, he would be fired. that got as big an applause as the other line you showed.
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>> his worst moment. gingrich was asked about a spanish-language radio ad his campaign made and has since taken off the air. it calls mitt romney antiimmigrant. well mitt romney sees the opportunity to go after gingrich. let's watch it. >> is he still the most anti-immigrant candidate? >> of the four of us? yes. >> my father was born in mexico. they came to this country. the idea i'm anti-immigrant is repulsive. i think you should apologize for it. and recognize having differences of medicine opinions on issues does not justify labeling people with highly-charged epithets. >> susan page, he uses terms like highly-charged epithets. that's a gentleman's way of
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saying you're lying. what do you make of that? he came formally but very in control of the other guy? like a bullfighter. >> and to show a little emotion. one of the raps on mitt romney is he doesn't reveal very much of himself. he's kind of a stiff guy. but that wasn't the case in that answer. luckily for mitt romney, that was the question out of the box last night on immigration. he was able to turn to this attack on newt gingrich that i'm sure had been planned. but it came off as strong. newt gingrich, who ought have expected an exchange like that did not seem prepared to come back at him. >> i said a lot over the years, i think the greatest debate tactic in politics is the attack from a defensive position. people tend to root for people who are defending their reputations. newt gingrich was always able to score points by going after the media. last night, he had wolf blitzer
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to tag l with and he lost. blitzer asked newt if he was satisfied with the transparency about mitt romney's tax returns. which the governor released earlier this week. let's watch this back and forth which had become a losing battle for the media. here's wolf standing up for his craft. >> this is a nonsense question. how about if the four of us agree for the rest of the evening? >> mr. speaker -- >> i didn't say that. you did. >> i did. i'm perfectly happy to say on an interview. this is a national debate to get the four of us. >> if you make a serious accusation against governor romney, you need to explain that. >> you want to try again?
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>> wouldn't it be nice if people didn't make accusations somewhere else they weren't willing to defend here? >> ka boom. there was the important thing was not only that wolf blitzer stood his ground, and i think correctly so, even though boos came, but mitt romney well prepared for this debate sided with wolf blitzer in at the same time called newt gingrich out as a bully saying if you're going to say that off the air and off the stage, i want you to say it to my face. and that showed me just how well prepared and determined mitt romney was in this debate. >> great battle motion there. by the way, susan, you're a pro as a journalist.
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the great columnist you have to be willing to walk through the locker room after you have written a tough column on the team. wolf walked through the lion's den last night. >> he did. one other thing working in mitt romn romney's favor is some of the audience was with him. newt gingrich got energy from the audience. the crowd was with mitt romney last night. that boosted him and changed the dynamic. excuse me. in the debate last night, the crowd wasn't entirely with mitt romney, but some of it was. and that helped. >> what about the charge made by newt since the debate last night that the audience was stacked in favor of establishment politicians by the state party? >> yes. i wrote about that last night. it was the -- in this case, the partner was the republican party of the state.
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pretty established group in florida. but what's good for newt, he was insisting there be an audience. he said i want d audience. what do you think the romney crowd was going to try to do? so newt went from being a triumphant character to a cry baby. he suffered from the same tactics that newt benefitted from before. >> he didn't expect it would be from the high church. here was another heated moment between romney and gingrich after the topic turned to gingrich's role at freddie mac. gingrich tried to land a blow against romney. but romney turned it around. let's watch. >> we began digging in after monday night because i had enough of this. we discovered to our shock that governor romney owns shares of fannie mae and freddie mac. he made a million dollars off
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selling some of that. >> first of all, my investments are not made by me. my investments have been in a blind trust managed by a trustee. there are bonds that they have held through mutual funds. and mr. speaker, i know that sounds like an enormous revolution, but have you checked your own investments? you also have investments in fannie mae and freddie mac. >> right. >> susan, that was one of the great, i assume, a lot of this stuff is set up ahead of time. but what a resounding punch that was to the jaw. >> it showed how well prepared mitt romney was in terms of opposition research and how newt gingrich was not prepared. his own campaign -- as soon as the line came out, we were getting e-mails from the gingrich campaign pointing out that during the 1994 senate race in massachusetts, mitt romney had derited the idea that a blind trust ab solved responsibility for the trustee would do.
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that was a point newt gingrich could have made in response to the attack from mitt romney, but he didn't. >> i think he was tired. he was just tired. here's romney's worst moment of the night. it didn't come at the hands of gingrich, but at rick santorum. the third-man-in this fight. the form er -- let's watch a rel attack here from santorum. >> what governor romney just said is that the government run top down medicine is working well in massachusetts and he supports it. now think about what that means going up against barack obama, who you're going to claim top down government doesn't work and repeal it. he's going to say wait a minute. you just said it works well. >> if someone doesn't have insurance, then we have to care for them in the hospital. give them free care. no more free riders.
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we're insisting on personal responsibility. does everybody in massachusetts have a requirement to buy health care? >> everyone has a requirement to either by health care or pay the state for the cost of providing them free care. >> in a perfect world, susan and howard, the president of the united states would hire mitt romney to explain his health care plan. that's a perfect rendition or explanation of what obama has tried to do with health care. get everybody to take personal responsibility so they don't end up as free loaders on somebody else's plan. >> rick santorum has been good in the debates from the start. early debates he didn't get much time to speak. now that it's down to four people, he gets more time. he doesn't have the money to run the kind of ads or organization in florida that's going to make him competitive, but he looked good last night to indicate he was going to stay in the race. every vote rick santorum gets is
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a vote from newt gingrich. i mean i think it's helpful for mitt romney for santorum to be good. >> i agree with susan. i scored the bout. on his own terms, i gave it to rick santorum. rick santorum did a tremendous amount for himself last night. it may not matter in the end, but i thought he was excellent. if he was trying out for the role of vice presidential candidate, i thought he did a good job. >> that's another way of trying out. i agree with your thinking. it looks like this is a battle of two guys against one right now. santorum running for vp because every vote he grabs is probably a newt gingrich would be vote. there's going to be a lot more of this between now and tuesday. howard fineman and susan page, we're looking forward to the florida fight. coming up, it wasn't all good for mitt romney. he had a problem with stretching the truth, finding the truth,
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telling the truth. we'll get to that when we return. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. ♪ he was a 21st century global nomad ♪ ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the malayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪ ♪ now when he's surfing down in chile'a ♪ ♪ he can see when his score is in danger ♪ ♪ if you're a mobile type on the go ♪ ♪ i suggest you take a tip from my bro ♪ ♪ and download the app that lets you know ♪ ♪ at free-credit-score-dot-com now let's go. ♪ vo: offer applies with enrollment in™. c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t.
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welcome back to "hardball." it may have been a good debate overall for mitt romney last night, but he had a few missteps which may come back to haunt this guy. joining me to talk about that in what we're calling romney's fibs is contributor david korn and susan mil began, a contributing editor. let's look at what happens when newt gingrich called mitt romney out for voting for democrat paul sagas in the primary. here it goes. >> in '92 he was donating to democrats for congress. >> i have never voted for a democrat when there was a republican on the ballot. and in my state of massachusetts, you could register as an independent and vote in either primary. and any chance i got to vote
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against bill clinton, i took. i have always voted for republican any time there was a republican on the ballot. >> let's go to david korn. the number of excuses he's given for voting for sagas is dramatic. he voted for him because he's a moderate democrat than clinton. but the idea he's now saying he voted for him to screw the democrats in a kpcomplicated voting, even though he was claiming to be an independent doesn't pass the smell test. >> remember in 1992, this was not when bill clinton was president. he was seen also as being the dlc. the conservative wing. he was a southern governor of the democratic party. it wasn't like mitt was rushing to the barricades to stop liberalism from grabbing the throat of washington, d.c. so you're right.
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it doesn't add up. you have to say. newt gingrich accusing mitt romney of being a fibber is like donald trump calling someone self-absorbed. it's kind of a fair fight you have to say in this regard on the debate last night. >> susan, you're using the glove. you know about this guy. i think he was a moderate or moderate republican. he was trying to deny what he was. he was never a right winger. he was somewhere in the middle. you and i know, sangas was for entitlement reform. he was trying to fix the system. why doesn't he brag for once about who he was? a moderate thoughtful voter trying to do something intelligent. now he runs away from it. >> throughout the campaign, he's run away from his moderate past. one of the more charitable explanations is this is someone
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who comes from the business world. he's accused to accommodating the product. but he's been trying to do this for the entire campaign. i don't know why he didn't say sangas was the home state guy. i was just standing up for him. i don't know why he didn't say that and be done with it. this reenforces his weakness. i think the missteps, which would mean nothing for someone else, are more potent because they reenforce peoples' deepest concern about governor romney. >> i don't get why you don't occasionally admit you do something. another moment last night. he denied having knowledge about running the spanish radio ad where he distorts a quote from newt gingrich. why does he deny everything? here it is. >> you have had an ad running saying that speaker gingrich called spanish "the language of
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the ghetto." what do you mean by that? >> i haven't seen the ad. did he say that? >> did you say that? >> i doubt that's my ad, but i will take a look and find out. >> there he was talking away. here he e is in the ad. pay close attention to the tagline at the end. [ speaking in spanish ] [ speaking in spanish ] >> susan, i recognize that voice. >> the accent needs some work. >> how many takes did they have to do to get the end of the ad? >> let's not get distracted by
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his quality of his language. you're allowed to speak spanish, but not french. what about this denying he never saw the ad? if he went to the trouble of saying it in spanish, we should assume he remembers the ad in spanish. >> that's an oops moment worthy of being in a rick perry support group. how could he possibly get up there and say was that my ad? i didn't see that ad when he clearly -- he must have spent some time working on the spanish or having someone work with him on the spanish for that. >> maybe they got a voice impersonator. this is not the first time he's done this. in the iowa campaign, he was accused of the super pac ads. he said he didn't see the ads, and then described what was right about them.
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he thinks that he's a standup guy. he does everything right. he was raised well. he's a gentleman. when his campaign does this stuff, he creates a psychological distance between himself and what is going on in his name. so his first impulse is i could not have done that. maybe i did. >> it doesn't seem like me. >> here's mitt romney last night in what was a good overall performance. listen closely to his answer. he steps into the weeds of dishonesty. >> governor romney owns shares of fannie mae and freddie mac. he made a million dollars off selling some of that. >> my investments are not made by me. my investments are in a blind trust managed by trustee. >> a lot of voters may have trouble sympathy thesing with someone so wealthy. they found this "not all of his
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investments have been in a blind trust. romney's personal financial disclosure forms show he owned between 250,000 and $500,000 in a government fund that contained notes of freddie mac and fannie mae. certain assets including that fed rated fund were outside the scope of his blind trust. so there you have it, david. it's clear according to to the associated press, he had investments in freddie mac and fannie mae. and they were not in a blind trust. they were open to his involvement and knowledge. >> chris, this is the big issue. it's kind of puzzling. because he's had many years to think about this. mitt romney and his campaign can't figure out how he should talk about his own wealth. whether it's his taxes. he he should just get up and say, i have done well. i have a gazillion dollars.
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i don't know what goes on. if you're telling me there's freddie mac money, i will tell them to get rid of it. that's how he should handle this. but every time we get to this issue, he muffs it. it's kind of perplexing. >> last word, susan. why can't he talk about his money? >> because he's setting himself up to be the poster child for the 1% in a general election. that's why. >> he's doing a good job. thank you. up next, newt gingrich pix up the jailhouse endorsement of duke cunningham. i guess you get endorsements where you can get them. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc.
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now to the sideshow. newt gingrich clinched another endorsement, but hold the celebration. it's excongressman duke cunningham, who is serving a prison for a federal bribery case. he's now reaching out to newt. "newt, a voice out of the past. down but not out and still fighting. first i do not want anything from you but have been watching the debates. i have 80% of the inmates that would vote for you. they might not be able to but their extended families will." this endorsement takes the cake. i personally don't hold a grudge against anyone. next up, amateur hour. at last night's debate one subject was a moment of comic relief than nasty back and forth. the promise to voters that by
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the end of the second presidential term in the white house, there will be an american colony on the moon. let's hear what two of his rivals had to say about the plan last night. >> i spent 25 years in business. if i had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, i would say you're fired. >> i don't think we should go to the moon. e we should send politicians up there at times. >> by now, you think romney would be steering clear of the words "you're fired." and now for a fact check. jan brewer drew scrutiny for the intense encounter with president obama. republican congressman trent franks came on "hardball" and had this to say about brewer's record and popularity in her home state. >> she came in the same time
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barack obama did. the state was the worst hit with the the housing crisis. 47th in job creation. she balanced the budget and is loved in arizona. >> loved? really? where does her approval stand. in the ppp poll, 49% disapproved of her performance. when it comes to the arizona governor, love is not all round her. now for the big number of the night. remember when president obama went musical last week? ♪ i so in love with you ♪ >> thanks to the president, al green hit is making a comeback. how much did weekly sales of the hit surge? 490%. talk about a sales bump. as for the president singing al green said he nailed it.
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a 490% increase in sales. that's the big number. up next, newt gingrich loves to call president obama a saul alinsky radical. do the republicans who lap this stuff up even know what they are talking about? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. premier of the packed bag. you know organization is key... and so is having a trusted assistant. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above and still pay the mid-size price. here we are... [ male announcer ] and there you go, business pro. there you go. go national. go like a pro.
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i'm tyler mathisen with your cnbc market wrap. the dow gave back 74 today. nasdaq was up 11. one of the factors weighing on stocks, gdp figures showing the economy expanded at a 2.8% rate. it was below forecast. and it did not put investors in a buying mood. shares of ford down 4% following
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its latest earnings report. high commodity costs took a wind out of profits. and the long wait may be over. facebook could file its highly-anticipated ipo as early as wednesday according to "the wall street journal." the paper says morgan stanley will be the lead underwriter of that deal. if projections are correct, the valuation could be as high as $100 billion. that would make it one of the biggest ipos in american history. that's it from cnbc. now back to "hardball." lalalalaa welcome back to "hardball." in the past week alone, if you listened to newt gingrich, you heard the man of one name repeated again and again. saul alinsky.
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>> the debate we're going to have with president obama over the next eight or nine months, the outlining of the two americas, the america of the declaration of independence and the america of alinsky. >> to take him on in values where he's a saul alinsky r radical. >> but the center piece of this campaign is america exceptionalism versus the radicalism of alinsky. he represents a big government, saul alinsky vision of the future. >> the value he believes in. >> if you're for european socialism and saul alinsky radicalism, you're with barack obama. >> saul alinsky was a community organizer who helped the poor organize to better their lives. he laid out this process in his most famous book as a pragmatic
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primmer. that was book's full title. it was published in 1971. why is he in the political bloodstream now? lynn sweet covers politics for the "chicago sun times." i have been wanting to get this straight. william buckley said alinsky is close to becoming a genius. the group gives the book to its top leadership members to study. a spokesman said his tactics are incredibly effective. this photo shows mitt's father two months after the detroit riots. george romney says "i think you ought to listen to alinsky." this is so fascinating. i thought of alinsky as not as
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left wing zealous, and just a guy that helped poor people organize so they could have voice. >> well, you know, i think he was a left. he was influenced by the father of italian communism. but his goals and everything he laid out in this book rules for radicals really were to take the power away from the haves and give it to the have notes. the reason you hear conservatives who obviously studied this work very closely praising it is that it's so effective. what he says in these 13 rules that he lays out, he says ridicule is man's most potent weapon. you know, you don't hear barack obama using ridicule. you do hear newt gingrich using ridicule to pretty good effect.
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another one of his rules is a good strategy is a strategy your people enjoy, which you know, alinsky loved to have the big, outrageous demonstrations and tactics. one of his favorites was when he had people dump garbage on the property of someone who had not been responsive to garbage pick pickup. is that barack obama? no. he does things like urge people to call their member of congress. again, when he says, i think alinsky's biggest rule is to freeze it, polarize it, convince people that all the devils are on one side. all the angels are on the other. that's the exact opposite of barack obama. >> but barack obama does not live in a man key where the other guys are bad guys. lynn sweet, you cover chicago
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politics. i think melinda nailed it. the tough tactics of organization and politics are the right who make everybody on the left evil. not just different in terms of their judgments. >> absolutely. i think newt, who says he's an historian, needs to do some more resear research. saul alinsky never wanted to overthrow the system. he wanted to change it so everybody had a fair shake. he didn't want to destroy the table. he wanted everybody to have a seat on it, chris. and that's what he did in his earliest days of organizing in chicago. >> i think he uses the word alinsky because it sounds like a jewish name, but he uses it to suggest trotski. 90% of the people have no knowledge of the guy, but it
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sounds like trouble. >> i was just in south carolina, chris, and i did ask people because he had been using this. i was in his election night hotel. people don't know who he is. i want to add one more thing. organizing sounds like union, conservative candidates are not union friendly. i just want to point out that newt is more like a llinsky rig now more than anyone else. >> here's your point made beautifully by newt himself. he trained his anger on the elite ofzr!lalalalalalalalalalaa
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>> melinda, you write about how alinsky was the rub raw and the resentments of people. it sounds like this ought to do it. >> exactly. in the beginning, you think, you know, what could be more elite than bringing up, as you say, the name of this obscure guy. that somebody heard in a seminar. although, it's not new for a lot of conservatives to hear about saul alinsky because people like rush limbaugh have been talking about saul alinsky for awhile. so people who are really into movement conservativism have heard this before. >> i put it right up with food stamp president. i'm much tougher than you guys.
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>> it's a great use of ridicule too. >> melinda, thank you.lala we have to go. up next, how the fight on the right between newt gingrich and mitt romney is making barack obama stronger. i think we can agree on this one. tonight after the show, i will be signing copies of my book down here at the barnes and down here at the barnes and noble. this is "hardball" on msnbc.s. all because so many people wanted to visit us... in louisiana. they came to see us in florida... nice try, they came to hang out with us in alabama... once folks heard mississippi had the welcome sign out, they couldn't wait to get here. this year was great but next year's gonna be even better. and anyone who knows the gulf knows that winter is primetime fun time. the sun's out and the water's beautiful. you can go deep sea fishing for amberjack, grouper and mackerel.
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>> yes. >> how much do you want it? >> badly. because i think the country needs it. >> he's looking and feeling confident there just as he was in the state of the union address earlier this the country since then. can he keep his mo going through november? that's a hot question. patrick gaspart served as the white house political director. now with the dnc. and ron reagan is author of "my father." i want to start with patrick. we haven't had you on for a while. tell me about the president. when you begin what we call the kick, has he begun his kick? the part where you really try to put it on? >> chris, we have a ways to go. it's definitely been a good week for our president. while newt gingrich has been off orbiting the moon and mitt romney is content with orbiting the truth, barack obama has been having an honest conversation with the american people about the economy we have to built, built on american manufacturing, clean energy, enhancing the skills of all of our workers and also reinstituting this basic sense of american -- the
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american value that if you work hard, play by the rules, you are going to get rewarded in this society and have economic security for a time to come. it's been a good week. you saw the great energetic crowds in michigan, in nevada where the president -- >> yeah, that's all official. patrick, that's all good. i accept all of that. what about you as a political guy watching this thing. when you are watching these debates, what is your feelings about it when you watch the republican party. so many right wingers. so much right wing rhetoric. so much over the top. what is that going to do to the independent voter come next fall? that kind of rhetoric we're getting from -- you heard about the moon and all of that. how does that affect the independent voter? >> chris, you ran some of the poll numbers earlier in this very show. we see independents and moderates are fleeing from mitt romney as he's contorted himself to appeal to the extreme right wing of the tea party and we know, of course, that with newt gingrich's talent for provocation, that's turning off a lot of folks as well. and it's clear that there's a divisiveness there that's
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unappealing to most american voters. and i think that when the lights come on and one of them emerges as the nominee, they are going to have a very, very difficult time tacking away from all the promises and the commitments that they made to folks who want to drag us back to all the policies that created the crisis we found ourselves in in 2008. >> i think that's well said. ron, my buddy, you know what i can't believe, i do believe, i'm just being rhetorical. i can't automobile i'm going to say it this way -- how romney when he did something decent, and voted for someone who really wanted to stick his neck out and fix things like social security and medicare, fix our foreign policy, do the right thing at the cost of some votes he got, with some real guts. here's this guy walking away from that vote now saying, oh, that was just a strategic vote to play some monkey business. i didn't really mean i liked paul tsongas. why doesn't he at least stand up for the good stuff he does? >> romney won't even stand up
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for his own health care plan. barack obama has some stuff cutting against him. there's the economy, the incandescent hatred for him on the right. there are people over there that would vote for himler over obama, but that -- but he has some things going for him -- >> you'll pay for that one. you'll pay for that comment. i'll tell you what. the tweeters are out there right now. >> if gingrich is -- >> you say they hate him so much -- yeah. >> yeah, never mind that. but they hate him so much, the economy is bad. here's what he's got going for him. romney and gingrich. look at the last few debates here. does anybody watching those debates think to themselves, hey, these two guys, either one of them really belongs in the oval office? they've been diminishing themselves steadily throughout the debates. gingrich is a joke. and romney, mr. $57,000 a day man who doesn't seem to grateful for that. he just seems entitled. >> you are so well -- by the way, he wants a tax break. >> yeah, he does.
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>> he makes more in a day than most make in a year. we'll be right back. we'll have more when we come back in a minute. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ female announcer ] experience dual-action power,
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whoever wins the republican primary is going to be a standard bearer for a vision of the country that i don't think reflects who we are. i think the american people are going to make a judgment about who is trying to bring the
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country together and who is dividing it. >> let me go back to ron reagan on that. i think these candidates, especially the president are so well advised to do that kind of quiet interview rather just the pounding of the lectern. it comes across so well there, doesn't he? >> he comes across as he always does as the grown-up in the room. the republicans want to paint him as the divisive figure. look at the two republican candidates who are in the lead. what could be more divisive than that? >> chris -- >> patrick, the fact that newt's been able to survive. let me ask you. i want to give you an opportunity. i'll tee this up. the fact newt gingrich has done so well. he may be out of this in two or three weeks but in it for a while now. the fact he can sell as a front-runner with the republican electorate tells you how angry they are, maybe how over the top they are to the point they can't think right. newt can't possibly be president, can he? by any standard. >> well, clearly i expect that barack obama is going to
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continue to be president after the november election, but let's be like real with one another here, chris. the fact that newt gingrich, rick santorum, before that michele bachmann, herman cain, the fact they were viable contenders for the nomination is an indictment by the conservative branch of that party of mitt romney. he just has an authenticity gap. and folks on that side realize that not only is he disavowing what he did in massachusetts on health care. he hasn't been truthful and transparent about his taxes. he hasn't been truthful on his record about a woman's right to choose. has been all over the place and extreme on immigration and dream act. there's an authenticity gap that's making it difficult for mitt romney to close the deal with republicans. >> to be fair, the president -- i don't think people believe he's a right winger. the one thing saving romney is people think he's bs'ing us. he really is a centrist. >> may save him in the general election. >> if i could go back to your question to ron about how the president looked in that interview last night. he


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